I got a book for my birthday. And I read it. Cover to cover. Though that was an extremely difficult feat. This wasn't just any book but a ridiculous joke of a book that teaches women how to be "gorgeously green" while they do all those tough girly things like picking out lipstick, buying groceries, gardening, making dinner, and picking out that "hot new outfit!" I kid you not, those are the chapters... Because obviously women have no real agency other than the trite pursuits of Stay-at-Home-Barbie. Don't get me wrong, i am all about reclaiming femininity in a "gorgeously green" way but when a book teaches me that the ONLY focus women should have on eco-consciousness are stereotypically feminine activities, i can't help but fume.
I got all the way through the third paragraph of the introduction before i understand how much i would despise this book:
"Women like me tend to be more interested in their compact than their compost. We never forget a hair appointment yet always forget our reusable tote... Yoga and recycling were as far down the environmental food chain as i was willing to go. There was no way that i was going to stop dyeing my hair and painting my nails; and my gas-guzzling SUV was just fine, thank you very much!... But I felt too lazy to walk down the hall to the recycling bin - well, a girl needs to conserve her energy for the really important things in life, like sitting down in front of the TV to find out who has been voted off the island..." and on she went...
I instantly knew this book was not for women like me.
I get that she's trying to be cutesy (or at least i pray to god that's what she's doing) but i hate it all. I hate the tone, i hate the impression that women should relate to her, and i hate the lack of genuine responsibility women are empowered to claim in our planet. I also hate that she continuously refers to women as "you girls."
Like i said, this book was a birthday gift... so i kept reading. Truth be told, the content got *a bit* better, but the tone remained the same. I quickly realized it was just this cutesy, inane, benevolently sexist tone that made me want to punch her in the face, even though i understand violence that is never the answer...
Aside from the tone, her constant contradictions and lack of basic grammar made me want to suffocate myself with a cloth tote (don't worry, cloth is too porous). She instructs "us girls" to stay away from certain ingredients only to recommend products with those ingredients as safe solutions. On her website she rationalizes this hypocritical writing by telling us that there are "shades of green" and you don't have to be totally "granola crunch green" if it doesn't fit into your lifestyle... Also, she mentions avoiding the microwave so to not molecularly alter her food but later writes that microwaves are the most eco-friendly way to cook because they use the least amount of energy. The last contradiction i'll mention is her recommendation for bamboo clothing, which must travel hundreds of miles, wasting an unnecessary amount of fossil fuels, before it reaches her white picket fenced doorstep.
I especially hated this book for the incredibly privileged angle from which it was written. She suggests $80 skin moisturizer bottles and 2 ounces of an organic perfume at $775. Seriously? There must be more fiscally responsible solutions for green cosmetics. In fact, there are. Combine her white/class privilege, erroneous writing skills, and vast contradictions and you've got yourself a D+ self help book...
I hate it even more because she succeeds in making a complete mockery out of the genuinely "granola crunch green" way my partner and i try to live our lives.
Yet, this post is a great opportunity to link to The Story of Stuff.